Radford

The Reborn Radford’s First New Car Is Inspired by a Legendary Lotus Racer

The Reborn Radford’s First New Car Is Inspired by a Legendary Lotus Racer

The new Radford is taking a page out of an old Lotus design book.

The British coachbuilder has just announced the first original car in its 73-year history, the Project 62. And the luxury sports car will look familiar to Lotus aficionados because it’s inspired by the UK automaker’s legendary Type 62 race car.
Radford isn’t ready to show off it’s first born just yet, but expect something that looks straight out of the Swinging Sixties. Race cars, even from that era, don’t come much more flamboyant than the Type 62. The mid-engine coupé is all sleek, flowing lines and a massive set fenders in the front and rear. It’ll be interesting to see how much of the original’s design carries over, but we hope as much as possible.

In addition to providing design inspiration, Lotus will also help Radford build the Project 62. It’s unclear what this will entail, but the coachbuilder has promised more info, including, one hopes, whether or not the car is street-legal, in the months to come. One thing we do know, though, is that it will be lavishly appointed. Radford—which was recently rebooted by former Formula 1 champ Jenson Button, automotive designer Mark Stubbs and industry personality Ant Anstead—has said each example will be completely bespoke and crafted to its owner’s specifications. It’s unlikely to be as distinguished as the old Radford’s most famous builds, like the Aston Martin DB5 Hatchback or Bentley “Countryman,” but we expect it’ll be plenty luxurious.

A rendering of the Lotus Type 62 race car 

Radford

“For me, a key purpose of Radford is to celebrate iconic automotive moments by bringing them back to life for a new, modern audience,” Button said in a statement. “Our first car, Project 62 embodies that ethos to a tee. As a British car lover I am excited that Radford has the honor of working alongside Lotus to pay homage to the truly stunning original Type 62 from 1969.”
Radford has yet to announce pricing for the Radford 92, but considering its bespoke nature it will probably be steep. You can reserve yours now, though the coachbuilder’s website. But you might want to hurry, as production will be limited to just 62 examples. Don’t be surprised if slots fill as fast as the sporty racer moves.

Radford Racing School Puts an Already Iconic Academy in Overdrive

Radford Racing School Puts an Already Iconic Academy in Overdrive

Some brands—like Kleenex, Xerox and Popsicle—are so popular they’ve become the generic name for a product category. Bondurant School of High Performance Driving is nearly that, and the famous race car driver’s name is probably the first that comes to mind when someone thinks about an academy where aspiring racers can hone their skills.

However, everything in the world is subject to change—save for the laws of physics—and the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, founded in 1968 and located in Chandler, Ariz., has been renamed the Radford Racing School. The title adjustment reflects a new direction for the renowned and respected institution that has helped so many drivers realize their potential for more than 50 years.

The school has benefited from major updates since Radford’s purchase in 2019. The Radford ownership team is comprised of four enthusiastic partners, including English television personality Ant Anstead, Formula 1 champion Jenson Button, car designer Mark Stubbs and business partner Roger Behle. Together, their multimillion-dollar transformation of the facility makes it an experience destination for neophyte racers and international car enthusiasts alike. Interestingly, the foursome is the same crew behind the recently announced resurrection of the Radford coachbuilding house.

The crew behind Radford Racing School, from left: Mark Stubbs, Roger Behle, Ant Anstead and Jenson Button. 

Photo: Courtesy of Radford.

Improvements to the school include the first resurfacing of the main track in 30 years, in addition to renovation and expansion of the event center, visitor center, gift shop, student lounge, classrooms, skills pad and viewing platform. The curriculum has been enhanced to include new and updated courses that range from classes in Formula cars to road racing. Additionally, teen driving courses reinforce safety and skills applied to real-world motoring situations. And for racers who measure success by the quarter mile, Radford is the first school of its kind to offer professional drag racing instruction, with the opportunity for students to earn an NHRA Drag License.
New Dodge/SRT owners will discover that the Radford Racing School is the Official High Performance Driving School of Dodge/SRT, where the automaker and Alfa Romeo both provide a fleet of instruction vehicles. Not surprisingly, the drag racing course features the 840 hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

The 840 hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is used in the school’s drag racing course. 

Photo: Courtesy of Radford Racing School.

In addition, Radford offers Ligier JS F4 open-wheel machines, vintage Dodge Vipers, go-karts and vehicles prepared specifically for police instruction as well as military training, including special forces. Along with new programs and schedules, look for an upcoming TV show that will expand the reach—and elevate the profile—of the new Radford Racing School to a worldwide audience.

Formula 1’s Jenson Button Drives Return of Bygone Coachbuilder Radford

Formula 1’s Jenson Button Drives Return of Bygone Coachbuilder Radford

The humble Mini was the epitome of cool in the swinging 1960s, so every pop star and celeb who wanted one had to stand out from the crowd with their own versions of the popular little car. A coachbuilder named Radford was ready to help with its ultimate toy around New York, London and Paris, a coachbuilt Radford Mini Cooper.

Radford was originally founded in 1948 as Harold Radford (Coachbuilders) Ltd in London. Radford debuted at the London Motor show in 1951, revealing its Bentley “Countryman,” a posh forerunner of the modern SUV.

A 1949 Bentley bodied by Radford. 

Photo: Courtesy of Radford.

The company was also involved in creating bespoke fiberglass bodywork for the prototype Ford GT40, but it was Radford’s modification of Bentley models and, later, Minis, that gave the Radford its admired reputation for luxurious, customized automobiles.

John Lennon in his Radford-customized Mini Cooper, circa 1960s. 

Photo by Keystone Features, courtesy of Radford.

Radford equipped Minis with electric windows, leather trim and a rash of other specialty features which nowadays would be taken for granted. It wasn’t long before all four members of the Beatles and manager Brian Epstein owned one; Ringo Starr even had his modified to store a full set of drums in the back. That particular car was recently bought by Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell for more than $120,000. Mike Nesmith from the Monkees, Ginger Baker from Cream, Mick Jagger, soccer star George Best, Peter Sellers and wife Britt Ekland, the list of Radford Mini owners goes on and on.

Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland with their Radford ride. 

Photo by Wesley, courtesy of Radford.

Now, the storied coachbuilder has been brought back to life, this time under the stewardship of former Formula 1 champ Jenson Button, automotive designer Mark Stubbs and industry personality Ant Anstead. Based in Los Angeles, the new iteration of Radford aims to lead a renaissance in the art of tailored bodywork, driven in recent years by the restomod revolution.
The new outfit is already in talks to build cars for a number of mainstream, high-end manufacturers, taking existing models and transforming them into one-off design classics.

From left: car designer Mark Stubbs, builder and industry personality Ant Anstead and former Formula 1 champion Jenson Button. 

Photo: Courtesy of Radford.

Jenson Button explained: “The Radford brand carries such prestige and magnetism for anyone with an appreciation of cars. The work that Harold Radford and his team were responsible for in the mid 1900s is simply incredible. The time for a revival of proper coachbuilding is right now. People want something unique, something different and something tailor-made. That’s where Radford comes in—our cars will offer the ultimate in luxury and personalization.”

Button also mentions that future partnerships are already in place and will be announced shortly. “They are a testament to what Radford is capable of achieving,” he notes. “It feels like fate that a designer, a builder and a driver have all united at this perfect time. It’s really exciting.”

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